As Marvel's street-level characters in New York City go, there's not many who are more well-known than Spider-Man.
Sure, everyone's favorite web-slinger has appeared in plenty of Marvel's cosmic-level stories, lending his intelligence and powers to even the most star-bound events.
But at his most basic, Spider-Man has always been a kid from Queens who fights crime in the gritty streets of New York.
This fall, Marvel's event is putting the spotlight on Spidey's street senses with Shadowland: Spider-Man, an October one-shot by Dan Slott that teams the hero with martial arts expert Shang-Chi, pitting the two against ninjas and demons as they battle the Hand and Mister Negative.
While the artist is yet-to-be-named, Slott talked with Newsarama about the issue and how it leads into an upcoming story he's doing in .
Newsarama: Dan, with all this fighting going on in New York City, how does Spider-Man respond to the events of ?
Dan Slott: He thinks it's bad. I don't want to say too much about what Andy [Diggle] and Billy [Tan] are doing with , but a lot of people aren't happy with Matt Murdock leading The Hand. It's not a good job description.
There's a big conflict going on in Shadowland, a big struggle for power. And a lot of forces are mashalled up against one another. And one of Spider-Man's worst enemies, Mister Negative, who's the crime lord of Chinatown, sees this as the perfect opportunity to make a play against the forces of The Hand.
So Spider-Man has to deal with that. Mister Negative has his army, his tong, of inner demons, who are all masters of martial arts. So when he goes up against the Hand, it'll be all Kung Fu fighting.
Nrama: Who else besides Mister Negative and Spider-Man get involved in this one-shot?
Slott: Spider-Man would like to take on Mister Negative himself, but he's joined in a team-up for this one, with one of the other characters. Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu. So it's Spidey and Shang-Chi teaming up again, getting thrown right into the heart of Hand ninjas, and Mister Negative's tong of inner demons, and Mister Negative himself.
So it's just one big martial arts brew-ha-ha.
Nrama: Outside this one-shot, is Spider-Man involved in the main book? And does one story rely on the other, or can they be enjoyed separately?
Slott: You will see Spider-Man take an active part in . In this Spider-Man one-shot, it's nice and modular. If you want, you can read all of without the one-shot and it's fine, or if you're a Spider-Man fan and you're not reading , you can read this one-shot and it stands on it own. But if you're reading and want it fleshed out a little more, and you want to see the complete picture, you can read both and the tie-ins.
Nrama: But the one-shot will fit into the storyline in the main book?
Slott: Yes. There is a moment in one of the issues of where Spidey will go off and have this adventure and Shang-Chi will follow him. It fits into the bigger picture.
Nrama: Does his friendship with Matt Murdock come into play in this whole thing?
Slott: Not in the one-shot, but you will see that in , of course. And let me tell you, Spidey is happy that he did not tell Daredevil his secret identity in . He's glad he kept that in the bottle.
Nrama: Do you like the idea of Spider-Man in an event that's based at street level, as opposed to one of the cosmic-based stories?
Slott: Oh, yeah. Spidey's always been more of a street-level guy than the big, cosmic-y, fighting Krees and Skrulls in outer space. He's the boy from Queens! So yeah, New York is such an important character in the world of Spider-Man. It's just as important as your J. Jonah Jamesons, and your Flash Thompsons and your Aunt Maes. New York is a character in the world of Spider-Man, and this is the battle for the soul of New York.
Nrama: What's your overall impression of , and what do you think it brings to the Marvel Universe overall?
Slott: There will be changes to the Marvel street-level when this is over. I think something Marvel is good about is that when their events, even micro events, finish, there is progression, there is thrust, and things are different. So there will be, in the street-level section of the Marvel Universe, there will be a change after . And I think that's exciting.
There's also an element in the one-shot that will be picked up on in . I'm writing something that involves what we'll see here.